COVID-19 resources for managers and leaders

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National Care Forum COVID-19 guidance and resources

National Care Forum

The COVID-19 section of the National Care Forum (NCF) website is a good source for government guidance and information relevant to the care sector. The resource includes links to information about: infection control, CPA Visitors’ Protocol, clinical guidance, regulation, information governance, workforce, supported housing and homeless, volunteering wellbeing and other practical resources.

Last updated on hub: 20 August 2020

Webinar recording: Harnessing the power of data to transform social care

Social Care Institute for Excellence

Webinar co-hosted by SCIE and Xantura about using data to transform adult social care. Includes contributions from local authority partners.

Last updated on hub: 17 August 2020

Voices from lockdown: a chance for change: interim findings report


This report focuses on the first three months of lockdown in the UK, looking at the needs and experiences of marginalised women and girls and the implications for the voluntary and community organisations that support them. It provides insights collected from an online survey of 72 organisations working with women and girls at risk, in-depth interviews with professionals from those organisations and interviews with the women and girls who use those support programmes whilst facing multiple disadvantages. The research highlights the challenges faced by this specialist sector, as well as important learnings and innovations being developed. It suggests that two concerning trends are emerging: firstly, that more women and girls are in need of support; and secondly, that their needs are increasingly more complex and urgent. While the demand for services is growing, nearly half, 46 per cent, of organisations reported that their financial position during the lockdown had worsened. Of those organisations that saw their financial position worsen, 30 per cent were small providers, supporting less than 25 women a month, with an income of less than £50,000. The report makes recommendations to ensure four core ambitions for recovery can be achieved and the specialist sector is adequately funded and supported: ensuring equality, insight and transparency to achieve effective commissioning and funding decisions; building respect, dignity and participation, removing the barriers to support services for women and girls; empowering local responses and driving collaboration through funding and commissioning; valuing expertise and growing innovation, harnessing the full potential of the women’s voluntary and community sector.

Last updated on hub: 17 August 2020

Impacts of Covid-19 on the financial sustainability of the voluntary sector working in criminal justice


This paper explores the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on the sustainability of the voluntary sector working in the criminal justice system. Evidence has been gathered from leading voluntary sector experts, surveys of the voluntary sector working in criminal justice and a series of national regional network events held by Clinks for voluntary sector organisations. Over 1,700 voluntary organisations work specifically in criminal justice, playing a unique and valuable role in prisons and local communities. A further 4,916 voluntary organisations work with people in the criminal justice system by nature of their work. These charities exist to support and advocate for some of the most stigmatised and excluded communities whose needs mainstream services often fail to meet. The paper looks at how long-term trends in funding and commissioning models have impacted on the sustainability of voluntary organisations working in the criminal justice system, and how Covid-19 has both exacerbated existing challenges and brought in new challenges. It makes a number of recommendations to the government, including for: greater use of discretionary public sector grants as low bureaucracy tools to provide sustainable grant funding for core costs; emergency funding to be made available to voluntary organisations to cover their costs where Covid-19 has disrupted their usual means to bridge shortfalls in funding for MoJ/HMPPS contracted services; targeted support to specialist services for people with protected characteristics, with a particular focus on ensuring funding streams for services delivered to and/or led by black, Asian and minority ethnic people; and engagement with voluntary organisations as strategic partners in the design and delivery of services, rather than solely as suppliers.

Last updated on hub: 17 August 2020

Rough sleeping in England: looking beyond ‘Everyone In’

St Mungo's

This briefing sets out the actions needed to reduce the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on people ability to find somewhere safe to stay and access the necessary support to rebuild their lives away from the street. At the beginning of the pandemic, the Government charged local authorities with getting ‘Everyone In’, and supporting everyone sleeping rough to move into self-contained accommodation. The paper highlights a number of key challenges that remain to be addressed, including: new people have continued to start sleeping rough during the pandemic; the risk of rough sleeping is increasing as a result of the impact of the lockdown on the economy; a high number of people currently in emergency accommodation will be unable to access ongoing support due to their migration status; difficulty finding move on accommodation due to affordability and access to the right support. To ensure the long-term safety of homeless people the paper recommends: ensuring everyone who is homeless is offered suitable emergency accommodation; suspending the Benefit Cap and lift Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates in line with average rents; and suspending ‘no recourse’ rules that restrict access to support for non-UK nationals for at least the next 12 months.

Last updated on hub: 17 August 2020

Matching interventions and people: A decision-making tool to establish the best means of working with people

Social Care Institute for Excellence

This decision-making tool supports social workers and social care practitioners to decide the best format, or combination of formats, for a given interaction.

Last updated on hub: 14 August 2020

Future-proof the roof: the case for sustainable investment to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping post-COVID-19

The Salvation Army

This report considers how greater and more sustained investment can improve the outcomes of England’s homelessness and rough sleeping system. This investment has become even more imperative given the economic shock caused by COVID-19 and to maintain the progress made in response to the pandemic. The report outlines a framework for how policymakers should think about investment in the homelessness and rough sleeping system and the service, human and economic costs of homelessness. It presents new analysis of England’s homeless and rough sleeping population and sets out a policy blueprint to help tackle homelessness and rough sleeping in both the short and long term. The report acknowledges that each local area will have different priorities in relation to the types of investment that they need to make to improve outcomes while also identifying types of investment that are needed across the entire homelessness and rough sleeping system. These include introducing measures to increase and sustain housing and accommodation options for homeless households and rough sleepers – through the Next Steps Accommodation Programme, incentivising councils to bring empty homes back into use, making use of new construction techniques to increase housing options, and giving councils first refusal to buy local properties that have been repossessed; addressing the restrictions for those with No Recourse to Public Funds (NRPF); and giving certainty to the funding of employment programmes that help those with experience of homelessness and rough sleeping.

Last updated on hub: 13 August 2020

Mental health services and COVID-19: preparing for the rising tide

NHS Confederation

Examines the impact of COVID-19 on mental health and the long-term implications for mental health services. While during the peak of the crisis there was a 30-40 per cent reduction in mental health referrals, since the lift in lockdown restrictions providers anecdotally report that referrals are rising to above pre-COVID-19 levels. The report argues that in the next phase three drivers of additional demand will be at play: (1) demand from people who would have been referred to services had the pandemic not struck; (2) people requiring more support due to a deterioration of their mental health during the pandemic; and (3) new demand driven by people needing support due to the wider impacts of the pandemic, such as self-isolation and increases in substance abuse and domestic violence. The report indicates that there is a need to better understand expected demand and its impact in different areas and on different groups, including black and minority ethnic (BME) communities, and that funding levels should be adjusted to meet increased levels of demand. In addition, meeting the expected increase in demand for mental health services will require partnership working from across the health and care system, and beyond; supporting staff wellbeing; sustaining innovation, including financially supporting the increased use of digital approaches; and adopting a mental health in all policies approach, reflecting the fact that many of the determinants of mental health are outside of the NHS’s direct control.

Last updated on hub: 13 August 2020

Hear us: the experiences of refugee and asylum-seeking women during the pandemic

Sisters Not Strangers

Findings of a survey of over 100 asylum-seeking women from England and Wales to hear how they are surviving during the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey was completed by women seeking and refused asylum, as well as those with leave to remain. The responses were supplemented by a survey of 24 staff and volunteers who have been supporting asylum-seeking women since the outbreak. The report reveals that three quarters of the women surveyed went hungry, including mothers who struggled to feed their children. A third of women were at high risk from coronavirus, reporting a serious health condition such as asthma, heart disease and diabetes; yet, self-isolation was impossible for the 21% of women who were forced to sleep in the same room as a non-family member. Frequent handwashing was a serious challenge for the 32% of women who struggled to afford soap and other hygiene products. Barriers to accessing NHS mental healthcare and a lack of IT equipment increased isolation, with a quarter of women saying that their mental health was “much worse than before”. The report argues that the pandemic is exposing deep structural inequalities along existing fault-lines of gender, race, citizenship and class, and calls for a grant of leave to remain to be given to all those with insecure immigration status, to ensure the safety of those seeking asylum, to protect public health, and to enable British society to rebuild more equally.

Last updated on hub: 13 August 2020

The First Wave: perspectives and learning from the COVID-19 pandemic

PPL Consulting

These essays offer a range of personal perspectives of those who have worked through the Covid-19 crisis, including in support of key health and care services and the local communities. The Covid-19 outbreak led to a full-scale mobilisation of resources across health, local government, the voluntary sector and local communities in response. These reflections focus on the lessons from the pandemic; the role of people power, including the voluntary sector; and how to build back better, supporting the recovery phase and transforming services. The essays cover an array of topics, including: international lessons, the importance of public engagement, digital transformation, volunteering in the pandemic and the value of kindness in the workplace, supporting system recovery and positive changes, and improving health and care outcomes through greater collaboration.

Last updated on hub: 13 August 2020